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I didn't get into the Introsem I wanted! Now what?

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Only about one-third of IntroSems are oversubscribed, but some of the most popular IntroSems can get hundreds of students hoping for priority enrollment. So it is not always possible to accommodate all of the interested and qualified students who write a statement of interest. So what do you do when you don’t get into the IntroSem you had your heart set on? How do you manage your disappointment? The answer: regroup, move on, and seek out other ways to pursue fields of interest to you.

Tips for Seeking Other Opportunities

  1. First of all, please do not lose heart and try not take these results personally. There are many reasons why a student may or may not be selected for an IntroSem and you should not take this as a personal judgement--some of the highest demand classes may even be using a lottery system. Once you have set aside your disappointment, you can move on to taking productive steps.
  2. Generally, you are welcome to attend the first day of class to see if any spaces have become available in the classes that interest you. This may be true of the IntroSem you applied to. Consider emailing the professor to find out about a waitlist.
  3. You should also embrace this as an opportunity to network with the instructors of the courses that most interested you. Let them know that while you were disappointed in the outcome of your application, you would still like the opportunity to meet to talk about the topic, perhaps in office hours. You might ask the professor if they offer any other courses you might be able to take or if they have any other course recommendations. You can, in short, turn this disappointment into an opportunity to forge a connection with a faculty member. Your Academic Advisor can help you frame that conversation.
  4. Peruse the list of open IntroSems to see if there is another class that might be of interest to you. Very often students stumble into the classes that prove most influential to them down the road. Leave yourself open to happy accidents.
  5. Look through the list of Frosh-Friendly Courses. Does the department or professor offer another path of entry into this field? Is there a one- or two-unit course related to the topic?
  6. And, of course, you should look for IntroSems that might interest you in later quarters. IntroSems offers suggestions on writing your statement of interest, and your advisors would be happy to read it.

See Also

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